odesk, guru, elance, craigslist, you name it. New VAs come to various VA forums and ask about these different sites and wonder if they really work. The latest one was this:
This was my answer to her which was well received:
odesk, guru, elance, freelance, craigslist. There are quite a few sites out there that give opportunity for many different people from all walks of life to secure jobs to work at home. However you are competing with professionals and non-professionals alike and the chances are the clients are looking for the lowest possible rate to get the work done. In fact, from jobs I have seen posted, it seems the client thinks they can tell you how much you should be charging.
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a business owner, and as such should be the one who says how much they will charge for the work they are doing. There is much you should be taking into account including your cost of living and each VA should be doing an analysis to work out what their base rate will be and then add on for things such as printing, use of the internet and phone and so on to cover their costs and stay in front. For those who join my team they are provided with a sample formula to help them work that out but there is a lady, Nina Feldman, who has a resource on her site.
You really are much better off registering with some of the VA networks out there. There are well over 30 of them now. Some are listed at http://vanetworknews.com/va-organisations/. Many have a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Job Request form on their sites where clients fill them out and the information is submitted to registered members to submit a proposal or outline their experience in order to secure the role. I have that system on my own site at www.vadirectory.net. At these sites clients understand better that a VA is a business operator and while some clients might give a ball park figure of what they’re prepared to pay, the majority who place these requests simply ask for quotes or say when the job needs to be done by. They are a much better class of customer in my eyes as they already understand (mostly) what we can do for them.
I regularly get good feedback from clients happy with the process at my own site and I often pass these comments on to my VA team to let them know another happy customer has given me feedback. Occasionally we might get a disgruntled client and that feedback is also passed on – it helps us to grow and develop as business operators.
Oh, and one VERY important thing you need to know. We are not employees – we are business operators. Clients are not employers – they are clients. Very important mindset and one you need to adjust to quickly as the way you see a client will affect the way you work with them.